Book Reviews

Sonata by A.F. Henley at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 13-November-2019

Book Blurb

At thirty-six, Ian feels done with the world. When a night at a bar goes as poorly as expected, he wants only to return home to be miserable in peace. Instead, he encounters Jordan. Hot, young, and interested, Jordan is everything Ian's ever wanted and nothing he believes himself capable of actually obtaining.

Jordan has enough going on in his life trying to scrape together a living for himself and his autistic son. When he meets Ian, all he wants is a brief, erotic moment and nothing else.

But fate throws them together again and again, and Ian finds himself determined to do whatever it takes to give their story a happy ending -- no matter what secrets Jordan's past has waiting for him.

First edition published by Less Than Three Press, July 2013.

Book Review

Music portrays the rhythms of life with its high and low notes, fast and slow ones, and everything in between. It's not surprising that most people think of music as a universal language. Our feelings can be expressed in music even when there are no appropriate words. It engages our intelligence by compelling us to use both sides of our brains causing harmony of our minds and spirits. Cole is a little boy, lost in himself, not able to communicate with others. He's frustrated and needs intervention. Assistance comes from an unusual source, from Ian, a stranger who meets and falls in love with his father, Jordan; someone who is observant enough to realize that music just might be the key to unlocking the tremendous potential Ian sees in this child.

Ian falls fast for the man he has a brief encounter with in a bathroom stall, especially since that's not at all what he intended to do. Ian is lonely and wounded by a previous failed relationship, but is willing to try for another shot at happiness. When Jordan approaches him in the bar's bathroom, he's startled and scrambles to make more of the encounter than there actually is, at least from Jordan's point of view. Ian is almost embarrassingly needy, but I can't fault his tenacity. He sees something he wants and desperately needs and goes for it. Unfortunately he's shot down, but not quite for the reasons he believes. It's not that Jordan doesn't want to be in a relationship, he just can't afford to get close to anyone because he's hiding an enormous secret. As time goes on, Ian begins to suspect that Jordan is lying to him and starts asking him pointed questions, such as, why aren't there any baby pictures of him and Cole or other memorabilia from earlier years? My first question would have been how a twenty-two-year-old man could have an eight-year-old child, but at that point, Ian is so emotionally involved with both of them that he wants to believe what Jordan tells him, regardless of the facts.

Even though Jordan means well, emotionally and financially, he is poorly equipped to care for Cole especially since he is autistic. Jordan's perspective of life is definitely skewed. When he meets Ian, he is determined not to get involved. He doesn't want to bring anyone into his and Cole's life. He says he doesn't need help, but deep down, he knows he's in over his head. His introduction to Ian is sleazy to say the least, and his attempt at anonymity is foiled by Ian's insistence for more than a slam-bam-thank-you-man. Ian wants a lot more than Jordan can give. Jordan blows him off; but it seems that fate has more in store for them and they keep being thrown together. When Ian becomes closer and wants to know more about him and Cole, Jordan becomes volatile and his behavior even more erratic.

This is an intense, well-developed love story with lots of social issues interwoven within Ian and Jordan's love affair, i.e.,  good intentions don't always have the desired result; letting others rule your life is neither desirable or productive; and learning to stand up for yourself is the only way. A.F.'s use of musical terms to represent the progress of the story was not only effective, but added a special touch which I found quite pleasing. I liked the way A.F. compared and contrasted music to life. I also enjoyed the introduction of music therapy as a credible way to help autistic children combine emotion and logic. I'd like to recommend this story to those who have an interest in music, being true to yourself, autism, and happy endings. Thanks, A.F., for the delightful, thoughtful tale.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 44118 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 13-November-2019
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link